Home Sweet Home: Road America Next
for Blackdog Speed Shop
Gaples eager to keep Elkhart Lake hot streak going in No. 5 Camaro
LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois (August 15, 2023) – There’s no place like home. There’s no place like Road America.
For Blackdog Speed Shop, both statements are equally true. So it makes sense that goals and hopes are high as the GT America powered by AWS championship heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and historic Road America – less than three hours from Blackdog’s home base just outside Chicago.
Tony Gaples is set for the two 40-minute races in the No. 5 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, which he has driven to two podiums and six top-five finishes in the GT4 class through 12 rounds.
Fifth in the championship standings, Gaples has the distinction of recording points-paying finishes in each race this season. It makes him one of only three drivers in the series to do so and is a big reason why Gaples is in the top-five in the championship standings with six races to go.
It’s been three years since Blackdog Speed Shop last competed at Road America in SRO America. That weekend in 2020 was especially successful with the team recording two victories and four additional podium finishes – a pair of second-places and a third-place for Gaples.
Recapturing that magic will require the team to get to grips – literally – with a fully resurfaced Road America. Completed nine months ago, the new tarmac should improve grip level on the racing line and decrease the level of tire degradation around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit.
Blackdog Speed Shop and the No. 5 Camaro will race in the first of two GT America races from Road America at 12:55 p.m. CT on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s second race at 8:45 a.m. CT. Live coverage of both races plus timing & scoring will be available at gtamerica.us and SRO’s GT World YouTube channel.
TONY GAPLES, NO. 5 BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP CHEVROLET CAMARO GT4.R: “I’ve never been more glad to get back to a true road course as I am this weekend. When we decided to bring Blackdog Speed Shop back to racing, Road America was one of the tracks we circled as a place where we really wanted to do well. Part of it is that this is our home track and want to do to well for our fans and supporters. The other reason is that it’s just a great and a historic place. We’ve had success there in the past and now we want more.”
RAY SORENSON, TEAM MANAGER, BLACKDOG SPEED SHOP: “It’s good to get back to a proper racetrack and road course like Road America. There are a few things we are looking at ahead the weekend. It all starts with the new surface, which should help with tire wear and degradation. We’ve shown at races that when we can keep the tires under this car, we can contend for podiums and wins. The Camaro always has been really good under heavy braking, too, so getting the car to rotate and then good traction and power-down off the corners is a recipe for success at this track.”